tv State of the Union CNN August 25, 2013 6:00am-7:01am PDT
>> it's been so night hanging out with you, state of the union starts now. i'm dana bash in for candy crowley and this is state of the union. today a texas lightning rod. >> if we see a grass roots tsunami, that is going to be cause republicans and democrats to listen to the people. senator ted cruz on why he hopes the wave that carried him into the senate is still strong enough to wash away obamacare. and jim demint and former governor howard dean. >> i think we're going to have another constitutional crisis in terms of the presidency.
plus the 50th anniversary of the march on washington. we start with breaking news out of syria this morning. the syrian government has reached an agreement with the united nations to allow inspectors full access to any site of any purported chemical weapons attack. syria's deputy foreign minister says -- the pentagon has prepositioned four warships with armed cruise missiles pore the region. chris, this is big news, this is why obviously inspectors got there, they want to get to the bottom of what really happened. think they can now? >> it is possible, we know that secretary of state john kerry was speaking with his counterpart the foreign minister over the weekend. those two did not speak very often, so that was significant. if they are able to find actual
evidence, this could certainly change the calculation for the obama administration. we know the pentagon has been updating it's target list for potential air strikes in syria, looking at not only command a and control fa stillities. they have also moved warships, they have added a third close to syria. all three of these have standoff capabilities. what we're talking about here u fighter jets launching from outside that air space, or more likely cruise missiles from these destroyers. >> back to cruise missiles, there are reports of 1,300 casualties. this obviously could be monumental. so the question is were there
chemical weapons used. the government is saying it's the rebels, the rebels are saying it's the government. >> we saw over the weekend, video of that cache in the rebel stronghold, the syrian government says they came across that gas mask canisters in a rebel area saying the rebels were using this. >> i want to put you on hold right now, because we have fred plankton on the phone. what can you tell us? >> reporter: i was in an interview with the syrian deputy foreign minister and it was just as the syrian government -- they were going to be able to visit all of the sites where chemical weapons were allegatiedly used. and he told me this goes into effect immediately and the only thing the u.n. now needs to work out is how they will get there.
they have to cross the front line, they have to go into rebel controlled territory. they have the permission to go anywhere they kwanlt to. >> they have a pretty wide range of movement there. how does the government feel about these allegations? >> there's also a potential response by the u.s. allies. you heard from organizations here in syria, that you almost never hear from. i have never gotten to speak with an official from the syrian military. but almost immediately they put out a statement that this was fabricated that syria has not used any chemical weapons.
he said that the government has nothing to site, that the weapons inspectors are welcome to go there. he wouldn't say whether or not he believed that the rebels were behi behind -- clearly the syrian government is getting the message that the international community is becoming very, very impatient and so they have actually for their standards moved very quick on this issue. >> so to be clear, a denial that the syrian foreign minister has denied any chemical attacks. >> still a flat out denial. he said that the syrian forces have never used chemical forces. you have doctors without borders
saying that some 2,600 people were treated because they lad been exposed to some sort of nerve agent. he said that his government did not do this. he could not speak to what was going on there, because the area is in control of the syrian rebel opposition. but there was a very firm, very flat out denial that their forces were behind it. >> we're going to continue speaking with you. meanwhile president obama hit the road this week, finding himself among friendly audiences at northeastern college where republicans want to block his legislation. >> they're threatening to shut down the government and have another financial crisis unless, for example, we get rid of the health care reform that we fought to pass and that's going
to provide millions of people health care security for the first time. that won't create jobs, that's not going to help our economy, that doesn't strengthen the middle class. >> one republican determined to defund obamacare as freshman senator ted cruz. >> we have all seen this movie before. what happens next is president obama and harry reid are going to scream and yell those mean, nasty republicans are threatening to shut down the federal government. one side or the other has to blink, how do we win this fight? don't blink. >> joining me now, howard dean, the former vice president governor and chairman of the democratic national committee. >> gentlemen, the clock is ticking over this fight over health care, some of this provisions kick in on september 1.
governor ted cruz sat down and talked about that and i want to play that. >> i have to get this birth certificate off the table. i think it's fairly cool that you have dual citizen ship, if you can run for the canadian parliament. >> i think it's the -- i was born in 1970 in calgary canada, my parents were working there in the oil and gas business. my mother was a u.s. citizen by birth, so under u.s. law, i'm an american citizen by birth. when i was a kit, my mom told me that if i wanted to, i could affirmatively choose canadian citizenship. i never did anything to affirmatively claim citizenship,
so i thought that was the end of the matter. technically, the immigration lawyer said that i still had dual citizenship. so the question was raised, if you do, would you renounce your canadian citizenship? i said, look, if that's right, then sure. because serving as a u.s. senator, i was an american by birth and serving as a u.s. senator it's only right that i renounce my canadian citizenship. >> i thought it was a reasonable question when the -- >> texas has the highest percentage of uninsured citizens of any state. let's say you're successful in defunding obamacare, the next day what do you tell the 6.2
million texans? >> number one, obamacare is the biggest job killer in american history. it's killing people, forcing people to have their hours reduced to less than 30 hours a week. it's causing people to lose their health insurance because businesses are dropping. the single biggest thing we can do to restore economic growth is to repeal obamacare. >> if you keep seeing employees dropping health insurance, you'll see les people affording health care, more people losing health care. i think three reforms are most important. number one, we should allow people to the advantage of that, the biggest barrier to getting
health insurance right now is cost. because many people can't afford health insurance. >> do you think it's right that so many people in this country cannot afford health care and therefore do not have it? >> no, and that's why i wanted to fix that. i want to repeal health care to take their -- i think we need to delink health insurance from employment. if you or i get fired, you don't loses your car insurance, you dwonlt lose your house insurance, you don't lose your fire insurance. we should have health insurance policies that are personal, that are portable. >> wie have not been getting
significa significant calls. we have been getting calls saying please stop obamacare. we have a major conservative -- >> it's the job of someone representing, you know, i am honored to represent 26 million texans and dealing with the government is inherently frustrating, is inhernltly confusing. >> do you agree with the fact is that someone does not agree with reforming obamacare should be replaced? >> now is the best time to stop obamacare, because it's by partisan. because defunding it, if it doesn't happen now, it's not likely to happen.
>> the president is never going to sign a bill that defunds obamacare. >> here's what i think should happen. the house of representatives should pass a continuing resolution that funds the federal government in its entirety, every aspect of the federal government, except obamacare, and it should explicitly defund obamacare. president obama and harry reid will scream that the learns are threatening to shut down obamacare. we need to stand up and win the argument. we have to stand up and say no, we want to keep the government open, we voted to keep the government open, to fund the
government, why is president obama threatening the shut obamacare down? we need 41 republicans in the senate or 318 republicans in the house. and you know what? this fights is likely to heat up in the month of september. that's going to be when the battle is engaged. i'm convinced there's a new paragon in politics that actually has washington have uncomfortable, and that paradigm is the rise of the grass roots, the demand of the grass roots base to demand that their government do the ligright thin. offensive we see a grass roots tsunami, that's going to cause republicans and democrats to listen to the people. >> but it's going to take a
tsunami? >> it's going to take a tsunami and i'm going to do everything i can to encourage that tsunami. >> what about the law? this has been put into law. this is the argument on the other side. it's already law, why not just get on board and try it? >> because it's not working and it's hurting americans. and by the way, the people it's hurting the most are the most vulnerable among us. the people that are losing their jobs are young people or african-americans or single moms. i don't think that's fair, i don't think that's right. >> let me move you on to a couple of political issuings. one of them is, do you see yourself supporting incumbents during primary charges or would you entertain supporting a challenge? >> i have not made a deft decision on that. i think it is likely they'll stay out of all incumbent races on all size. >> would you support lindsay graham versus a tea party can
zat. would you support -- >> i intend to be very involved in 2014 in working to support strong candidates. i think 2014 is a very favorable environment to retake the senate. >> chris christie in one of his latest moves as new jersey governor has -- >> i like chris christie, i think he is a straight forward, brash speaker u i think he has managed to stand up and defend his principles in a state that is historically not very friendly to republicans. and i am glad for that. the decisions that states make locally about health care u i
think are best left to the states. >> could you see yourself on a ticket with chris christie? >> i am not going to speculate about the future. i can tell you my focus is 100% on the u.s. senate. because the senate right now is the battleground so if i raid and i did that you're seriously mulling running in 2016, is that correct? >> i find it amusing because i don't know what seriously mulling means. i understand in the media, it's fun to cover the game, it's fun to cover politics all the time. but we have got huge challenges in this country. i am a big, big believer that good policy makes good politics. if you do the right thing, you try to work with republicans, with democrats, with anyone who will work together to get our economy moving to bring jobs
back, the rest of it will take care of itself. >> we have republican howard dean and democrat jim demint. i want to talk about the big issue that governor cruz is talking about. i talk to a lot of worried democrats on capitol hill who say that ted cruz is able to gain traction because their constituents are concerned because the obama administration didn't handle the implementation well. as a politician and as a doctor who knows the angst of patients not just voters, did the white house mess this up? >> no, all i can say is that was a very long interview with very little content. first of all obamacare as john mccain suggested in 2008 going to -- eventually going to separate health care from employment. that's actually a good idea which john mccain put forward, and that's going to happen
gradually and carefully. i don't want the texas insurance commissioner being up here in vermont. we have had universal health insurance for all our kids for 20 years. they have 22% of their children uninsured in texas. i don't want anything to do with texas' health care system in vermont and i don't want our people buying texas health insurance. so these are crazy ideas from the far right. he's a slick spokesman and god help us if he gets to be anything more than the senator from texas. >> senator demint, you are a friend of senator cruz, we'll let you respond to that. including what. >> dana, good morning to you, howard. the good news is that obamacare was passed under false pretenses. american people were lied to and they have every right to demand that their representatives stop
this unfair and un-american law. as you know, we're traveling around the country getting people informed as to what this is doing to their jobs and their economy. getting them inspired to where involved. hire senator jackson is taking the lead on this to get them involved as senator cruz was talking about. you can't find a federal program that's working effectively. we need to make health care more affordable to every american. but it's not going to happen with a cash for clunkers. >> howard, it's tens of trillions of dollars in debt, it's going to leave huge debt on
our children and more and more doctors won't even see a medicare insured patient. so it is not going to work for the future and it has not been designed well. we put more people on medicare and medicaid. and that's what obamacare is going to do is push people into medicare and medicaid style plans, so few doctors are going to take these plans. >> we're going to be able to talk a little bit more about that on the other side of the break. stay with us, because i also want to ask you, particularly senator demint which republicans ought to be replaced who are talking about obamacare or maybe not talking about obamacare and joe biden, was he president obama's best political decision? at a dry cleaner, we replaced people with a machine. what?
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[ male announcer ] new alka seltzer fruits chews. enjoy the relief! the battle over obamacare has activist groups going of ahn of their own. >> take mitch mcconnell, on the issue of obamacare, he says. >> the law is a disaster and i want you to know we're not backing down from this fight. >> but when he has the chance to defund obamacare, some say he's chickening out. senator mcconnell, the people don't need a chicken when it comes to obamacare. leaders lead, but if you fund it, you own it. >> more with jim demint next. helping business run ♪ ♪ trains! they haul everything, safely and on time. ♪ tracks! they connect the factories built along the lines. and that means jobs, lots of people, making lots and lots of things. let's get your business rolling now, everybody sing.
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we're back with howard dean and senator demint. i want to talk about shutting down the government if obamacare is funded and the fracture that it's causing within your party. you said i think president obama knows that republicans are afraid and if they are, they need to be replaced. a fellow conservative group is
going further than that, talking about mitch mcconnell. he is not signing on to your idea of demanding obamacare be defunded or shut down the government. do you think he needs to be replaced as leader or even as senator? >> their foundation doesn't get involved in elections. i have said on occasions, if someone runs for office making promise, then they say they're afraid to do that because they might lose the next election. they should be replaced regardless of what better. i can speak to many conservatives across the country to know that this is not going to help the people across the country. it's going to diminish health care across america. >> just to follow up on that, you can't talk about elections, but you can talk about your
party, that's what you do at the heritage foundation. house speaker john boehner also isn't too enthralled with your idea that obamacare be defunded. >> the heritage foundation doesn't represent republicans or democrats. >> you personally, what do you think? >> what we think is obamacare is clearly a law that's going to hurt the american people. the president is not going to implement it fairly. we're saying this thing should be defunded, it should not go forward, the president is arbitrarily implementimenting t. >> governor dean, i want to play something that senator dean said
about obama's vice president. >> it was the best decision that i ever made politically because i love this guy. because he's got heart, and he cares for his people and he fights for what he believes in. and he's got some scranton in him. >> that sounds like a soft endorsement looking ahead to 2016. would the door still be open for joe biden to run and not hillary clinton? >> let me get a little equal time on health care. i was not a supporter of obamacare when it passed, i am now. i think this ought to be implemented. in our little medical office in vermont we discovered that premiums are going to be cut in half for the fife people that work with my partners. this is going to make a brig difference, and it's going to help a lot of people and it's
going to improve health care significantly in this country. there's one thing that jim demint and i can certainly agree on, this is much too early to be talking about this stuff. joe biden has been a great vice president. so this is all moving along. >> at this point maybe it's not too early to talk about it behind the scenes even if you don't want to talk about it in public. >> when we return, one of the president closest republican allies says he's keeping track of supposedly impeachable offenses. . so now i can help make this a great block party. ♪ [ male announcer ] advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function.
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i don't have the legal background to know if that rises to high crimes and misdemeanors. but i think they're getting perilously ridiculous. >> yes, that was president obama's friend, his friend, senator tom coburn responding to a question about impeaching him. our panel is up next. un ♪ ♪ build! we're investing big to keep our country in the lead. ♪ load! we keep moving to deliver what you need. and that means growth, lots of cargo going all around the globe. cars and parts, fuel and steel, peas and rice, hey that's nice! ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪ ♪ helping this big country move ahead as one ♪ ♪ norfolk southern how's that function? ♪
cnn commentator cornel belcher, thank you all for joining us, i want to start with what we showed our viewers before. suggesting that maybe the i-word should be used, impeachment. is that a good thing for republicans to do right now? >> probably not. it's also my guess and i admit that i have not seen the entire context of that clip, but my guess is that senator coburn was in the meeting with his constituents. i don't think tom coburn actually wants to impeach president obama, i think he gave
a stupid answer to a stupid question. >> obviously he was asked an awkward question and i think it's foolish four people to even be discussing impeachment. but this president has been confident in key matters, and secondly that the executive branch has used power in a way that is arbitrary, capricious, and in many people's views unconstitutional. >> you could make that argument with every president. >> and democrats kne s made it president bush. >> this is the problem and why the policy is broken right now is because we have people in leadership talk about impeaching the president. all of a sudden you have members of the republican party talking about impeachment and shutting down the government. >> yes, he is talking about it,
but it's not just sort of a fringe -- it's not just a fringe republican, and more importantly -- >> you're talking about impeaching the president, yes, you are. >> part of why republicans and democrats tend to say these things that tend to be out there is because they're worried about challenges from the right or the left. he says he's not going to run -- >> the president has not called to impeach the. >> president. how to shut down the president because they don't want -- whether or not he would impeach the president. it's true that they're not, you know, are issuing articles of impeachment. but the truth is the far right in this country is talking about impeaching the president. it's on talk radio every day and leaders are scared of saying no to it. and that's what you have.
co-burn is saying -- instead of just saying that's ridiculous, not on the republican side because they're scared. no, because they're scared of the far right, they're scared of the ted cruz. >> if you go back to 2004 to 2008, you can very easily find prominent democrats -- >> since we're talking about kind of members of congress who could mainly be more main stream in their politics are afraid of the fringe. i think we have a sound bite from president obama talking to chris cuomo on cnn this past week, about what republicans privately tell him about why they may or may not want to go with his policies. listen to this. >> sometimes they say to me privately, i agree with you. but, i'm worried about a primary from somebody in the te party.
or what rush limbaugh's going to stay about me on the radio. so you got to understand it's really difficult. >> you ran in a pretty blue state so you know -- i think it's why so many americans are frustrated with politics. on the other hand, i think frankly while it was a great kudo to cnn and chris cuomo to get that interview with president obama, i think it was quite weak and ineffective.
because basically all his answers were it's somebody else's fault. that makes him look weak. >> defunding the government, that's the president's fault. congress has a job, the job of the congress is to pass the budget and to pay our bills and they have an issue with doing that i the broader problem is this. you can see the last time i was on this show was actually with congressman king taking on another tea partier. i'm going to push back on this idea that it's equivalent because quite frankly i wish more democrats were being challenged right now. there is a civil war going on in the republican party, most republicans even acknowledge that. the problem is we are are now suffering the consequences of the civil war with a completely dysfunctional congress and people in congress on the right worry more about -- >> what i think is interesting about the whole conversation is that you have republicans on this show threatening to shut
down the government over obamacare and then republican commentators saying, well the president looks weak because he has to deal with these crazy people. >> you're a republican commentator, do you agree? >> i think there's an underlying issue here in the government shutdown fight which is that the health care bill is still very unpopular. the reality that emboldens someone like ted cruz and emboldens is republicans to pick this kind of fight is -- >> i'm sorry that -- -- thank you very much. listen, this just shows that this is a very important and interesting debate and we will continue. ross, carnel and carly thank you very much. when we return, we're going to go to something that is very important happening here in washington this weekend and the man who's the you-- congressman john lewis is next. and the man who inspired is ted
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didn't know what to say or what to do. dr. king, i am john robert lewis. i said my whole name. when i met dr. martin luther king jr., it changed my life. >> congressman john lewis on race in america then and now when we come back. [ male announcer ] if she keeps serving up sneezes... [ sneezing ] she may be muddling through allergies.
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they come from the north, the south, the east and west. they come united in one cause, that today's gathering is the largest in washington's history. >> wednesday is the 50th anniversary of the 1963 march on washington. thousands will commemorate the event with a march for jobs and justice beginning at the labor department with a call for more government action to address high unemployment. then a stop at the justice department urging a federal civil rights suit against george zimmerman, who was acquitted of the killing of trayvon martin. the march will pass the washington monument and the world war ii memorial before ending at the lincoln memorial with speeches by presidents obama, bill clinton and jimmy carter. thousands gathered saturday to mark the anniversary. the only surviving keynote speaker of the original march, congressman john lewis, spoke at that event. >> i stood right here in this spot. >> he's just written a graphic novel to coincide with this week's event. candy spoke with john lewis. >> why the graphic novel?
>> well, i felt strongly that we needed to do something, to write something, to put it down, to pel the stoell the story for an generation, for children, and for people not so young. >> what do you think they don't know about it now? >> i wanted young people to understand what it was all about, that we accepted the way of peace, the way of love, the way of nonviolence. that we were beaten and arrested and went to jail and we didn't become bitter or hostile. that we never gave up because we wanted to be what dr. king called the beloved community. >> i want to play something for you that president obama said. this was in the wake of the trayvon martin case and the jury verdict. >> we need to spend some time thinking about how do we bolster and reinforce our african-american boys. is there more that we can do to
give them a sense that their country cares about them and values them and is willing to invest in them. >> what is it the president is talking about? >> we needed a president, a man like barack obama, to say that. and maybe, just give these young men, not just african-american, but all young men a greater sense of hope, to instill in them some values. during the height of the civil rights movement, we grew up, we had something to stand up for. we had something to believe in. i grew up, i literally grew up on lunch counter stools and going on the freedom ride, i participated in a march. >> a feeling of purpose you're talking about. >> you had a sense of purpose. you had goals that we wanted to desegregate the lunch counters,
the restaurants, to gain the right to vote. >> when you look back on that day 50 years ago on the mall, you have talked about it as a key moment in the civil rights movement. so many people have said it's pivotal. what did it change? >> the march on washington was a significant turning point. we had people coming from all over america. and americans living abroad, they left france, they left england, they got on planes and they came to washington. there were people black and white, latinos, asian american, native american, wanted to bear witness to something. they wanted to petition the government. members of congress, the president. and it said through their numbers and through their sense of order and dignity that america would never, ever be the same. you know, president kennedy didn't like the idea of a march on washington. he said if you bring all these people to washington, there will be violence and chaos and
disorder. you'll never get a civil rights bill through the congress. but when the march was all over and dr. king had delivered that magnificent "i have a dream" speech, the president welcomed us back to the white house. he stood in the door of the oval house beaming like a proud father, greeting each one of us. he shook our hands and he said you did a good job, you did a good job. and when he got to dr. king, he said, and you had a dream. >> congressman john lewis, it's always a pleasure to have you here. thank you so much. >> thank you so much for having me. and when we return, the man who helped shape republican senator ted cruz's politics, his father, rafael. la's known definitely for its traffic, congestion, for the smog. but there are a lot of people that do ride the bus. and now that the buses are running on natural gas, they don't throw out as much pollution into the air. so i feel good. i feel like i'm doing my part to help out the environment.
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interview the dad and the son together, so i'm just going to run through the questions he wouldn't answer. is he running for president? >> i don't see him running for president. he is standing up for principle in the senate and i'm very proud of him doing that. >> and would you like him to? >> i think that is the future -- nobody knows what the future brings. >> did you want him to get into politics? >> i think politics has been a part of our lives ever since he was 8, 9 years old. 1979, 1980 i was very much involved in the grassroots level in helping ronald reagan get elected. of course our conversation around the dinner table was all about politics. >> when i was a kid my dad used to say over and over again, when i was 2, 3, 4, 5 years old, when we faced oppression in cuba, i had a place to flee to. if we lose our freedom here, where do we go? and i will tell you, it is an incredible blessing to be the child of an immigrant who fled
oppression, because it makes you realize how precious and how fragile the freedom is that we have here in america. >> head to cnn.com/sotu for more of candy's interview of senator ted cruz and his father. i'm dana bash in for candy crowley. fareed zakaria gps is next. [ female announcer ] only aveeno daily moisturizing lotion has an active naturals oat formula that creates a moisture reserve so skin can replenish itself. aveeno® naturally beautiful results. ...and a great deal. . thanks to dad. nope eeeeh... oh, guys let's leave the deals to hotels.com. nice bear. ooh that one! nice. got it! oh my gosh this is so cool... awesome! perfect! save up to 30% plus an extra 12% off with coupon...
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